Winter was a big time for me in the realm of literature! Two major releases, (and in my case, eagerly anticipated preorders), a few Litsy-inspired reads and now lots of good TBR books for this spring! First and foremost, The Wicked King and Out Of The Dark were both released within a month of each other. You can read about my experience with Gregg Hurwitz here. The Wicked King was one of my most anticipated releases for the whole year, so I was super glad to finish out the Modern Faerie Tale series too, in the last month, more on that later in the post. I also continued with a series I started during my brief experience with a Postal Markup Book Club, which was so exciting! If you’ve never heard of such a thing (as I hadn’t), it’s a by-mail book club consisting of four or more readers who each choose a book and mail them one at a time once a month to the next person on the list while reading and annotating the book themselves. It was super exciting and it introduced me to The Keeper Of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan and Zodiac by Romina Russell, which have both come to be two of my favorite books! Without further ado, let’s get onto the specifics of what I’ve been reading this winter and what I’ll be reading this spring!
The Wicked King – Holly Black
This book, y’all. I flew through it. I adore Jude and Cardan, even though Cardan is more or less an unremorseful bastard, I can’t get enough of them together! The Folk Of The Air series is a gritty, dark continuation of the faerie universe she started creating with Tithe and she’s tying everything together so nicely! This is one of my favorite things about Holly Black, she fits her characters and separate stories together so seamlessly. I am on the edge of my seat waiting for Queen of Nothing next year!
Out Of The Dark – Gregg Hurwitz
Mr. Hurwitz has certainly done it again, in a fantastic, emotionally-charged climax to the series thus far. I know the series isn’t over because he told us himself it would be at least five books and more if he had anything to say about it, but I’m so interested to see where he takes it from here now that things are more or less wrapped up from the last three volumes. I saw on his facebook recently that he was studying lockpicking! He does so much intense research so that he can write in the details, I really admire his commitment to Evan as a character and the story as a whole. I certainly would not step into the ring with an MMA fighter for the sake of attention to detail, so props to you, Gregg darling.
Lost In A Book – Jennifer Donnelly
Jennifer Donnelly is a new author for me, I’ve seen her around but I haven’t actually read anything by her until I received a Beauty And The Beast spin-off in a Litsy swap with a super sweet Litten (you can see everything else I got in that swap here) and I could not have been more excited to start reading that book, I picked it up almost immediately! I had a lot of trouble focusing on the paper book, as I do, so about a week ago I checked out the audio digitally from Houston Public Library and I adored it. It is based on the live-action remake and not the original story, so there are a few subtle differences in character and story that would be confusing if you’ve only seen the original but I highly recommend it either way. A great cozy winter fluff read for fairy-tale lovers such as myself!
The Keeper Of Lost Things – Ruth Hogan
This one was admittedly hard for me to get into. I loved the book and the characters but it was very hard to keep focused and I ended up taking a little longer than the month allotted to read it. When I finally broke down and bought the audiobook, I fell into the story head first and it was fantastic! Sunny and Laura and Freddy are some of my favorite characters, hands down. You can really feel the spirit of the house, Padua, in the book. I didn’t even know who Al Bowlly was before but “The Very Thought Of You” has been remade so many times, I was able to find a version I really liked as great immersive background music. (hint hint: it’s Michael Buble)
Valiant – Holly Black
I saved this one for last because this series means so much to me, as you guys may already know. I had never read Valiant before. I picked up Tithe at around 11 or 12 years old from a secondhand shop in my hometown and devoured it. When I saw a sequel on the shelves a while later, I excitedly snatched it up to read the dust jacket and discovered to my abject horror that Roiben and Kaye were nowhere to be found! I was aghast and I put it back down, annoyed that I’d gotten excited over nothing. It would be several years before I picked up Ironside and listened rapturously to find out what happened to my beloved Roiben and Kaye. A few weeks ago, as I was looking through my audiobooks for a well-loved comfort read I came across Tithe and remembered I’d been meaning to read Valiant for years and still hadn’t gotten around to it so I checked it out from my local eLibrary and FINALLY read it. I’m not gonna lie, I don’t think it was as good as the Tithe/Ironside side of Modern Faerie Tale but in its own right it was a very good book. I also don’t think this would have been an appropriate read for me at age 11 as there are a few gritty subjects such as a drug called Never which is something like magical heroin. That would have sailed right over my head at such an age but all in all, I did enjoy the story and I feel like I understand Luis and Dave much better now. I will say, I did not enjoy the switch in narrators. I felt that she made everyone sound too child-like. It was hard to remember these are all teens between 16-19 and not actual children living in the recesses of New York City, shooting up Never every other day. Definitely glad I filled in all the holes in Dave and Luis’s backstory and SUPER glad I was able to finally meet this Ravus I’ve heard so much about on Tumblr, what a sweetheart!
Now, onto my TBR for spring! I’m hoping to continue some series that I just haven’t had the time or motivation to do so thus far and start some that I’ve heard so many rave reviews about! We’ll start with what I’m actually reading right now and move on from there to what I’m anticipating in the coming spring months. My sister has just recently started getting back into reading so I anticipate a lot of days spent outside on the patio in the cool weather (while it lasts) reading and watching our niece run around the back yard.
Wandering Star – Romina Russell
This is a series I started during the Litsy Postal Markup Book Club and I adored Zodiac! It was the first book I was sent and I annotated the crap out of that copy! Rhoma Grace is a formidable character, even if she sometimes doesn’t think so. I certainly would not have felt equipped to run off and save not only my world but 11 others as well! She is constantly invalidated and pushed aside by the same people who promoted her to Guardian in the first place but she’s so determined, it’s so inspiring to me. I’m thoroughly enjoying Wandering Star so far but I am a little bummed that Black Moon isn’t out in audio! I don’t want to have to wait and I’m not sure I can do the ebook but I’ll certainly try! This is another narrator I’m not absolutely crazy about. I’m getting used to her but she reminds me a lot of another narrator I’ve listened to who read River’s End by Nora Roberts and I find myself hearing Noah from River’s End as Hysan! Speaking of Hysan, what an absolute dreamboat. I was definitely #TeamMathias at first but given certain “events” (no spoilers!) I’ve probably permanently switched sides. Besides, what kind of Libra would I be if I didn’t support Hysan?
Eldest – Christopher Paolini
That’s right, I still haven’t read the second book yet. Whoops. It should be on loan from the library after a 2-week hold! I’ll probably have it within the week in audio and I can get started ASAP. My dad really liked the movie (I haven’t seen it yet) but he doesn’t read so I’m excited to read Eldest and discuss it with him.
Dark Tower: The Gunslinger – Stephen King
My best friend’s fiance has been harassing me to read this forever! It’s one of his favorite series and I confess to not being a huge Stephen King fan so I’m excited to try something new! It’s part fantasy, part sci-fi and part western so I’m hoping for some serious Firefly vibes! Here’s hoping. Speaking of Firefly…
Firefly: Big Damn Hero – Nancy Holder
I FINALLY watched Firefly and Serenity! My dad and brother have been on me to watch it for years and I finally made it all the way through, after gaining access to a friend’s Plex server. Now I’m on the hunt for cute novelty shirts for my niece that say “No power in the ‘verse can stop me” and “I aim to misbehave.” I will find them! Add a link in the comments if you find them before I do and I’ll love you forever ❤ Back on topic, I was stoked to hear that they’d be releasing three cannon Firefly books in 2018-19; I love Mal something fierce. The Magnificent Nine released on March 19th so I’ll even have a sequel to switch right to after I finish which is a very big deal for me as I tend to lose interest if I don’t have an immediate sequel available. Last, but certainly not least…
The Magicians – Lev Grossman
Let me tell y’all, I don’t watch much TV. Like, at all. I don’t have the attention span for it and I wholeheartedly resent being harassed to watch things but I binged TF out of this show and immediately started looking for the source material. Lo and behold, it’s inspired by a series! I have this on hold at the library but as Houston Public Library services all of Texas, it may have to be a summer/fall read because the wait is over 4 months! T_T I WILL listen to it though, and report back! Q is adorable, Eliot and Margo are always getting themselves (and/or others) into something, Julia and Alice are frankly… not my favorite but that’s a post for another day. Penny and Kady are one of my many OTPs ❤
That about wraps up my (hopeful) spring reads for 2019! What are y’all reading this spring? Tell me in the comments!